Sun, 01 Oct 2023

PGA Tour players react to LIV merger, say they found out on Twitter

Field Level Media
07 Jun 2023, 01:40 GMT+10

PGA Tour players were apparently blindsided by the news Tuesday morning that their tour had agreed to merge with rival league LIV Golf and accept funding from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

"I love finding out morning news on Twitter," two-time major champion Collin Morikawa tweeted.

Multiple news outlets reported that PGA Tour players were not told ahead of time that the news was coming before a press release was posted online and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Saudi PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan appeared together on CNBC for an interview.

Monahan was asked during that interview what he thought the response would be from PGA Tour players.

"Listen, a lot of people have been reading about the tension. And I said previously that we were going down our path and they were going down theirs," Monahan said. "And today, that tension goes away. The litigation is dropped. We're announcing to the world, that on behalf of this game, we're coming together. And it's less about how people respond today, and it's all about how people respond in 10 years. And when they see the impact we're having on this game together, there will be a lot of smiles on people's faces, and there will be a lot more people playing this game all over the world.

"And if you're a young player that wants to get to the highest level in the game today, you'll be more inspired than you've ever been before."

PGA Tour fan favorite Joel Dahmen poked fun at LIV's team concept, which the tours announced would be kept alive in some form in their new combined entity.

"I've grown up being a fan of the 4 Aces. Maybe one day I get to play for them on the PGA Tour!" he tweeted.

Others were not shy to express their anger.

"Love finding out info on twitter. This is amazing. Y'all should be ashamed and have a lot of questions to answer," Wesley Bryan wrote on Twitter. "I feel betrayed, and will not not be able to trust anyone within the corporate structure of the PGA TOUR for a very long time."

LIV Golf players were not given an indication the merger was coming either, according to the Golf Channel, though they received the news differently.

"Awesome day today," Phil Mickelson tweeted with a smiling emoji.

Mickelson was among the first players to make the jump from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf, and it was the six-time major champion's presence that legitimized LIV enough for others to follow. Mickelson has not been shy in recent months about lobbing accusations of collusion at the PGA Tour and other golf governing bodies.

While the likes of Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and others accepted massive guaranteed contracts to defect to LIV, other players turned them down to stay loyal to the PGA Tour. Hideki Matsuyama of Japan reportedly turned down $300 million from LIV to remain with the PGA.

The tours' announcement said there will be a path for LIV players who want to re-apply for membership to the PGA or DP World Tour. Barstool Golf's Dan Rapaport reported that players who defected to LIV will need to pay a fine that "won't be equal for every player."

--Field Level Media

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